Reasons to Love Comic Books: Awesome Stories

23 10 2009

One thing that I love about comic books is the awesome stories that can be told. As an aspiring comic book writer I always am excited when I come across an awesome story. I have read mostly Marvel my whole life so that is why there are so many Marvel stories on the list. These are some of my favorite comic book stories (in no particular order except for the first five):

-The Master Planner (Amazing Spider-Man#31-33) Reprinted in Marvel Tales#170-172

-Dark Phoenix Saga (Uncanny X-Men#129-137)

-Hobgoblin Saga (Amazing Spider-Man#238-239, 244-245, 249-251)

-The Dark Knight Returns (Batman: Dark Knight Returns#1-4)

-Sasuke Retrieval (Naruto vol. 21-27)

-Batman: Year One (Batman#404-407)

-Demon in a Bottle (Iron Man#120-128)

-The Night Gwen Stacy Died (Amazing Spider-Man#121-122)

-Death of Captain Stacy (Amazing Spider-Man#88-90)

-Galactus Trilogy (Fantastic Four#48-50)

-Green Goblin Reborn (Amazing Spider-Man#96-98)

-Batman: Death in the Family (Batman#426-429)

-Camelot 3000 (Camelot 3000#1-12)

-Ultimate Clone Saga (Ultimate Spider-Man#97-105)

-The Tomorrow People (Ultimate X-Men#1-6)

-Death of a Goblin (Ultimate Spider-Man#112-117)

-Batman: Hush (Batman#608-619)

-Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil

-World’s Most Wanted (Invincible Iron Man#8-19, current volume)

-Invincible War and Conquest (Invincible#60-65)

That’s all I can think of right now. Well… what’s your favorite comic book stories guys?





Uncanny X-Men#516 REVIEW (Magneto Returns!!! Yeah?… so what?)

16 10 2009

Uncanny X-Men#516

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: the second coming of Jack Kirby Greg Land w/ inks by Jay Leisten

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

So here we have the first part of the new storyline called Nation X. Here is the main problem I have with this story:

1). It’s seven parts. Why? Why does Marvel seriously decompress some of their stories? Oh yeah… its because they want your money.

Here are the problems I had with this issue:

1). Little to nothing happens in this issue. You could’ve written what happened in this issue in about 6-7 pages.

2). Greg Land does the art.

3). It didn’t excite me enough to continue with this story.

I understand that Matt Fraction is setting up the story, which he usually does in most of his stories and then he gets things going nice and smooth. But he has always intrigued my interest in what’s going to happen next. Here… not so much. So Magneto comes to the X-Men on Utopia (an island where mutants are being kept safe. Formally Asteroid M, the headquarters of Magneto and his Brotherhood). Cyclops and Professor X argue about what they should do to Magneto for about 3-4 pages. Yawn. Then they decide to hear Mags out and Mags then tells everyone about how he got his powers back and how he was refreshed after the events of House of M which was kind of interesting. Then a big plane calls in to Utopia saying its going to crash so instead of trying to save the falling plane Cyclops tells Nightcrawler to see what’s in it. Nightcrawler then teleports out of the plane after seeing something that apparently frightens him and shouts at Cyclops to shoot the plane down. Then Cyclops orders the X-Men to take their battle stations and then its to be continued…

This issue was a whole lot of meh for me. The art was bad, although it was actually more tolerable than I expected. The story was mediocre and didn’t have a good enough hook. I usually love Fraction’s stories so I gave this a try a didn’t care for it too much. I may stick around for a couple more issues because knowing Fraction’s type of storytelling he will get things moving nicely soon and things will get interesting. It wasn’t really worth $3. I expected more from you Matt Fraction. Maybe its because I expected a lot that caused me to not care for this issue much… maybe.

Rating: C

Alrighty guys and gals I gotta get back to reading Deadpool#900 (I’m only halfway through it and yes I will do a review of it when I’m finished) and kicking butts and taking names on Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2! Stick around for a review of Batman#691, Green Lantern Corps#41, + Deadpool#900!!! (hopefully)





Amazing Spider-Man#608 REVIEW (Am I going to stay with this series or not?)

9 10 2009

Amazing Spider-Man#608

Written by: Marc Guggenheim

Art by: Marco Checchetto, Luke Ross, and Rick Magyar

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

(Sweet) Cover by: Adi Granov

So in this issue we have- woah woah woah! Hold the phone! This issue doesn’t focus at all on Peter Parker’s love life!?! Am I reading the same book??? Special thank you to Marc Guggenheim: Thanx for not focusing on PP’s love life. It was getting really old. Like that one and a half year old cracker that I ate a couple weeks ago. If anyone knows Marc show this to him. Thanks. Anyway, after the last issue and disliking it because of the first three pages I decided I was going to let this issue be the deciding issue on whether or not I would keep reading this series for a while. I’ll tell you my answer at the end of the post… even though you’ll probably figure out my answer halfway through…

I was really worried when I heard Marc Guggenheim was going to be writing this because I’ve liked some of his ASM stuff and I’ve disliked some of his ASM stuff. I was even more worried when I found out that the story was going to be focused on one of the most hated comic book stories ever. The Clone Saga from the 90s. But… Guggenheim pulls it off… just barely. The issue is entertaining most of the time and boring some of the time. I didn’t care for the Ben Reilly and Doctor Ryder talk scenes. It nearly put me to sleep. I really thought it was cool when Nora asks PP if he knows who the guy, who is calling him Ben Reilly, is. Then PP explains the truth basically revealing that his is everyone’s favorite web-head. I was like, “WHAT THE F???” But then it reveals that was a scenario going through PP’s mind and it never actually happened. This should come as a surprise to no one who read the Amazing Spider-Man sketchbook, that came out a couple weeks ago, that Kaine is back. Overall the story is good, but nothing perfect.

The art is really good. Checchetto gives PP a funky hair-style that is… kinda weird. I had high expectations for the art team and as I guessed Checchetto and Luke Ross didn’t disappoint. So my answer to am I still going to stay with this series is… (un-needed drumroll)… yes. But just barely. I hope that this series gets better. I have a feeling it will. I mean c’mon! Mark Waid is writing The Gauntlet storyline!!! How can it be bad??? We’ll see…

Rating: B-





Amazing Spider-Man#606 REVIEW

24 09 2009

I’m gonna do this review before I completly forget. So here we go:

Amazing Spider-Man#606

Writer: Joe Kelly

Artist: Mike McKone w/ inks by Andy Lanning

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

*EDIT*: I just spilled some diet coke on my copy of this issue. It’s not too much damage but still… 😦

Finally we have a decent issue of ASM since #601. I thought Van Lente’s run was ok. I think it was because I expected a lot from him. Just a quick thought here: #605 was totally pointless. Ok that was my one sentence review of ASM#605. I hope you enjoyed it.

Ok so moving on… by the way that is a really nice cover (see above) by J. Scott Campbell. Anyway I really enjoyed the American Son story arc (which was also written by Joe Kelly for those who don’t know) so I expected great things from his return (kinda) on the book. Did he disappoint? Nope. He gave me exactly what I expected. Now I’ve read some of his stuff outside ASM (i.e. Deadpool, JSA) and the guy is pretty funny. He has a near perfect comidic timing. There were a lot of jokes thrown around and I know I’ve critisized Guggenheim for doing that, but Kelly’s jokes work and don’t fall flat on their face like Guggenheim’s jokes do most of the time. Kelly also understands the character of Spider-Man as well and he takes that and meshes it with the joking side of Spidey and its a pretty nice balance. He also handles the character of Black Cat really well too. He portrays her as she has always been: An outrageous flirt. Although its kinda weird how she suddenly has the hots for Spidey again after rejecting him waaaaaaaaaay back in the 80s, so I’m kind of wondering why that is. Maybe it was explained and I’m just forgeting.

I can’t give this book all its praise without bringing up Mike McKone. His art has been shining in every issue of ASM he’s drawn. He draws a pretty darn good-looking Black Cat (hey I’m a guy. I can’t help it!) His Spider-Man drawings are top notch and he is definetly one of the best Spidey artists out there right now. Andy Lanning’s inks also helped me enjoy the artwork as well.

I have been loving ASM (for the most part). I just wish that the only writers on the book right now were: Dan Slott, Mark Waid, and Joe Kelly. All three of them have been rocking this book. Marc Guggenheim and Fred Van Lente are ok in my opinion. Bob Gale and Zeb Wells? Don’t even get me started on them. Especially on Bob Gale. I’m going to talk about the last page so *SPOILER ALERT!!!* So Spidey and Black Cat start kissing on a rooftop and this one guy in a nearby house decides to film it and broadcast it live. And guess who sees the live footage? Mary Jane Watson (who somehow remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man). Peter Parker my man… you are S-C-R-E-W-E-D. When I saw that last page I thought: Holy $%#&^!!! I can hardly wait for the next issue!!!!

Rating: B+

Up next- Reviews of: Detective Comics#857, Fantastic Four#571, and Invincible#66! Followed by some other random posts. DC#857 and FF#571 sold out at my comic book store so it may be a little while till I get them, but I will definetly review them soon. So stay tuned! Same bat-blog, same bat-awesomeness!





Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#2 REVIEW

14 09 2009

I know this has been out for a couple of weeks, but I still wanted to review it, so here we go:

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#2

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Artist: David LaFuente

Price: $3.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Alright here we go, this is the second issue of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. I know I didn’t get a chance to review the first issue, but in short: I liked it… a lot. Ok, its the second issue and I was expecting a lot out of this. But, just like the second issue of Ultimate Comics Avengers it let me down. It was still a nice issue, but it just wasn’t as good as I expected. First of all David LaFuente’s art is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for this book. At first when I heard he was taking over the art chores for this book I wasn’t really excited because I didn’t really care for it in Ultimate Spider-Man Annual#3, but after seeing this issue and last issue’s art and after reading an interview with David online I thought, “He’s perfect for this book.” In the interview I read on the internet (man I really get off topic fast in my reviews… lol:) it seemed that David was really confident about doing this, plus his attitude about it was just astounding and it gave me confidence in him to do a great job with the book and he does a very fine job with this book. What’s so nice about his style of art is that he draws Peter, MJ, Gwen, Kitty Pryde and the whole gang like they’re supposed to be drawn: Like teenagers. As much as I LOVED Mark Bagley’s run on USM he didn’t really draw the gang like teenagers. LaFuente has also shown us that he can draw some pretty cute looking girls (his Kittly Pryde drawings are my favorite… just saying).

The problem I have with this book is the writing. Brain Michael Bendis has shown me hundreds of times that he is capable of being an excellent writer. He’s also shown me that he can be a bad writer sometimes. With this issue I feel his writing is in between good and bad, so in other words I felt that the writing was ok. Um… I HATE the fact that Peter is dating Gwen right now. I am a huge fan of the Peter Parker/Mary Jane Watson relationship, so that was a big dislike/irritation for me in this issue. Also why did he break up with MJ? Why? Did I miss something? I shouldn’t have because I’m a Ultimate Marvel zombie. Is it every going to be explained? My guess: probably not, but we’ll see. I just can’t stand the fact that Peter and Gwen are dating. Normally I’d be ok with that but when you just randomly put them together for no explained reason (as far as I know) I won’t be ok with it. I do love Gwen Stacy. I love the character (especially when Frank Cho draws her 🙂  But her relationship with Peter right now is just not sitting well with me, but we’ll see if that changes.

Also this issue introduces a new villain (well technically two, but…) called The Bombshells who are a mother and her daughter who have the power to, uh, well blast things as long as they’re close by each other. Oh also the daughter swears a lot, like someone from Powers except the swearing is censored. Hmmm Bendis making women characters villains and making them look bad… where oh where have we seen that before??? I wonder… I don’t know this whole issue was kind of a bummer since the first issue was so good. Plus the Kingpin is dead. Death in the Ultimate U… what a totally original idea! I’m sorry for those who love Bendis right now if you are feeling offended. Hey, I love Bendis’ writing too, but recently he’s been kinda letting me down. I love Ultimate Spider-Man and Powers (I want to read Jinx so bad). In fact Ultimate Spider-Man is what brought me back into reading and collecting comic books, so that’s why I’m having a big deal/rant right now about this issue. Hey, I gotta keep my reviews interesting y’know, I can’t be positive everytime!

It saddens me to see that the comic book that got me back into the comic book genre is being done at a level that isn’t at all near what Bendis is capable of writing. I pray and hope that it gets better from here on out. *sigh*…. The Ultimate Universe was for a long time my favorite comic books and… I don’t think I can say that as much anymore:(

If this rant on Bendis makes it on the Bendis Boards someone please tell me! That’d be kinda cool. Oh well… again this is in the same situation I’m having with Ultimate Comics Avengers, which is that the quality is starting to dip fast. I probably will stick around for the next issue but if things continue to be at the quality that they are now I won’t be around for the Ultimate U much longer. Huh, now this is my longest review/post. I’m interested to see how long my next post will be!

Rating: C+





Ultimate Comics Avengers#2 REVIEW

14 09 2009

Wow… has it really been a little over a week since I posted something??? I apologize but school and laziness have been kicking my @$$ lately so please forgive me.  But now since I have some time and have finished my homework I will do a couple of reviews and do a Character of the Week and some other random posts as well. Ok, first review is:

Ultimate Comics Avengers#2

Writer: Mark Millar

Artist: Carlos Pacheco w/ inks by Danny Miki

Price: $3.99 (Real Cheap!)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

After the first issue I was impressed by the quality of the book, even though there were some flaws in it. I decided to pick up the next issue and give it a try. After reading this I’m gonna come out and say this: The quality of this book is starting to slip fast. Again it’s a fast paced book and not a lot of dialouge and plenty of splash pages and 3 or 4 panel pages… The art Carlos Pacheco does is nice to look at. However Millar’s writing is starting to make me lose interest in this book. When I have talked to people about current favorite writers I say Mark Millar is one of them and people say, “Really? Why?”, and I reply, “I am a fan of his older stuff such as Ultimate X-Men and Ultimates volumes 1 and 2. People then understand and agree with me. By the way I’ve heard Superman: Red Sun and Wanted are really good and I’m interested in reading them. So I have a question for those of you out there who have read one or both of those stories: Are they worth checking out? Are they good? Because I’m interested in reading them.

Okey-Day time to get back on track. Right now I believe that Millar is one of the more inconsistant writers right now in the industry. I didn’t care for his run on Fantastic Four at all and I haven’t checked out Old Man Logan and I have little desire to read it… Man I wish he could come back to writing the high quality work he did on The Ultimates and UXM. I do think he’s gotten a little better, hence my current liking of Ultimate Avengers, but I don’t know… I felt this issue wasn’t quite up to par with the first issue. The dialouge wasn’t as great and Millar is capable of creating some pretty awesome one-liners and dialouge (check out the first two volumes of The Ultimates if you don’t believe me). The writing I also felt was a bit cliqued like last issue’s was and I can tell he’s thinking of revealing Red Skull, who is apparently Cap’s son, to be a Nazi because that would be the ULTIMATE (see what I just did there?) plot twist for Captain America. Ok, I’m just gonna throw that out there: I think later on Millar is going to reveal Red Skull to be a Nazi.

There are also a lot of questions that need to be answered like: How is Red Skull still in great shape? (hey he was born in the forties) Also the question: Why is Red Skull doing what he’s doing? What motivations does he have? But I’m sure these questions will be answered in the next four parts of this story (hopefully plus I kinda have my doubts but I hope Millar proves me wrong). Also Millar throws another “surprise ending” at you during the end of the book: Tony Stark has an older brother, which should come to no surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the Marvel Solicits and to interviews and articles. I’m glad that Millar is writing the Ultimate Universe differently than the Marvel U because that’s what the Ultimate U was intended to be, so its reassuring that Millar still has that firm understanding of the Ultimate U unlike some writers *cough* jephloeb.

As of now I still haven’t decided if I want to stay with this book or not. I mean $3.99 is a hefty price to pay for an inconsistant book, but we’ll see. Guess I’ll have to stick around for the next issue. Oh I just thought of another question that needs a good answer: Why has Captain America gone rogue? They just sorta threw that idea out there with no logical explaination… oh well.

Rating: C+

Coming Up:

-Ultimate Comics Spider-Man#2 REVIEW

-Green Lantern Corps#40 REVIEW

-Character of the Week

-A review of Hulk Red and Battle for the Cowl (I read it even though I said I wouldn’t…)

-And more!!!!

Wow this was my longest review! …… is anyone still reading this???





Some Quick Reviews

5 09 2009

FINALLY! The weekend is here and I can now do some reviews. These reviews are going to be books that I’ve already reviewed in the past. So first review is:

Batman#690  

Writer: Judd Winick       

Artist: Mark Bagley w/ inks by Rob Hunter    

Price: $2.99     

Publisher: DC Comics

Judd Winick has totally got me into the character of Dick Grayson. At first I didn’t care for Dick Grayson that much but thanks to all the Batman: Reborn books I now do, especially Winick’s portrayal of the character. I’m happy to see some old-school Batman villains back into the book. Seeing Two-Face, Clayface, and Penguin and not some lame new villain makes me happy. Especially when they’re drawn by Mark Bagley. I love how the fighting was written and drawn. As Batman was fighting he would always be a step ahead of his opponents and he wasn’t reckless at all. I thought that was really well written. I’m interested to see what happens next. Bagley’s art is so nice to look at. It’s solid and really realistic looking and not at all cartoony. This book is a treat to read and to look at. It’s unfortunate that Winick and Bagley are going to be replaced come issue #692.

Rating: B+

Next review is….

Deadpool#15

Writer: Daniel Way

Artist: Paco Medina w/ inks by Juan Vlasco

Price: $2.99

Publisher: Marvel Comics

I’ve already done a review on last week’s issue so I’m not gonna beat this one to death. This issue starts off a little slow. It’s not as funny as one would hope, but it digs deep into the character of Deadpool. One thing about the cover is I wish the actually copy had the classified thing on it instead of a weird looking Cyclops, Emma Frost, and Namor on it, but oh well. Three issues of the main Deadpool book in a month’s time! Wow! I wish they’d do that all the time! Halfway through it gets quite funny as Deadpool hallucinates about being on a boat surrounded by all these Marvel characters who are dressed as sailors. Deadpool sees Captain America and says, “Hey, you can’t be… Ed killed that guy!” I just burst out laughing right there.

Another part is when Deadpool is imagining he is talking to a dead shark and he mentions he has lots of friends and we see pictures of him about to hurt all his friends. This book is a heart-warmer. It really does wonders to lighten the spirit. Not reccomended for the young kids, though… hence the Parental Advisory warning on it. Medina’s art shines in this book as well. Nice to have you back Paco! This is a fun book and I can’t imagine it without Daniel Way on writing chores since he really is the only writer right now who has proven that he can write the character really well. I would like to see Joe Kelly and Ed McGuinness come back and do a Deadpool story though… that would be awesome.

Rating: B